Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on a wet but fun Æthelmearc War Practice:
War Practice started auspiciously enough, with a sunny and pleasant day on Friday to welcome campers setting up tents, shooting archery, and throwing weapons. The evening saw the traditional Gage Meet ‘n’ Beat, in which many fighters tested themselves against members of the Grant-level fighting award in one-on-one combat.
In the next field over, 15 fencers competed in a ribbon tourney in which combatants could wager ribbons on the outcome of a bout or a series of bouts. The winner of that tournament was Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill.
Alas, late Friday night and Saturday morning turned chill and drizzly. The weather cleared for a little while late on Saturday morning through the early afternoon, but went downhill again into intermittent hard rain by mid-afternoon. However, many gentles refused to let the weather dampen their spirits and persisted in having fun!
The Kingdom Youth Combat Champion’s Tournament pitted six combatants in a round robin, with two additional youth fighters joining later for melees and a bear bit. The victor and third time Kingdom Youth Champion was El Tigre of the Shire of Hunter’s Home. The most chivalrous youth fighter was Daichi, who was one of four fighters to authorize up a division that day.
The 10-Man Melee tournament featured five teams including fighters from numerous households like Sable Maul, Woodland Watch, and Stormhaven, along with teams from various local areas. It was won by Æthelmearc 10, consisting primarily of fighters from Region 3.
The Rose and Baroness’ Rapier Tournament included 19 fencers, each sponsored by a Lady of the Rose or a Baroness. The victor was Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne.
Before the start of the rapier tournament, however, Their Majesties called forth Master Lodovic of Gray’s Inn and Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc, and gave each of them a Writ of Summons to consider elevation to the Order of Defense.
The Kingom Archery Champion’s Tournament was also held at War Practice. Before the competition, Their Majesties bestowed a Golden Alce upon Master Bataar Sogdo for his skill as an archer.
The Champion’s shoot, designed by Lady Katherine Täntzel, was based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, including 50- and 100-yard shots that showed the Black Beast of Arrrrgh and its animator. Of the 13 archers who competed in the qualifying rounds, four advanced to the semi-finals: Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, Master Bataar Sogdo, Lady Anorra of Steltonwald, and THLord Cynwulf Rendell.
After shooting at the Taunting Knights in the semis, THLord Cynwulf and Yoshitaka-san advanced to the finals, where they were faced with two targets: a 45-second timed shoot at the “Black Knight” and the Knight who says Ni! The new Kingdom Archery Champion, Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, is serving as Champion for the second time.
In the early afternoon there was also a tournament to determine the new Kingdom Thrown Weapons Champion. The format was qualifications with specialized targets, pinpoint, spears and Royal Rounds. The finals consisted of Royal Rounds, reverse Royal Rounds and then a specialized target where you were not to hit the arms of the King and Queen or Æthelmearc’s arms A large number of gentles scored very similar high marks, but in the end, the victor was Baroness Aemelia Soteria, who receieved the regalia of office from the outgoing Champion, Lord Sean Delamort.
After the morning’s tournaments were completed, the heavy weapons and fencing combatants turned their thoughts toward war. The heavy fighters fought a series of open field battles and bridge battles under the watchful eyes of the Warlord, Duke Tindal, and Their Majesties.
The fencers also fought field battles and worked on targeting their skills at kill pockets under the guidance of the Rapier Warlord, Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe.
While all of this belligerence was happening on the battlefield, many gentler pursuits were held in the Great Hall or in the classroom tents. Class offerings included topics like brewing, music, fiber arts, scribal arts, cooking, autocratting, herbalism, costuming, and dancing.
Friday night saw the inaugural Grand Ball, organized by THLord Sionn the Lost, with live music for the dancers.
On Saturday, there was a combination A&S display and hands-on classes at the Artisans’ Play Time in the Great Hall, including tracks in scribal arts, fiber arts, and cooking. In additional, Edelvrouw Lijsbet de Keukere ran the first Scarlet Apron Cooking Competition with the theme of illusion foods. There were numerous entries that were both tasty and beautiful. Lady Elska Fjarfell was chosen as the winner for her marzipan and sugarpaste chicken and eggs entries, with her son Simon Fjarfell winning the youth category with a lamb made of crystalized sugar. Maestra Tomasia da Collevento was the winner of the populace choice with her peacock pie.
Court on Saturday night featured the induction of Lord Aidan Gunn into the Order of the Millrind, Lady Ottilige Rappoltsweiler and THLady Cassandra Matis into the Fleur d’AEthelmearc for their work as cooks, and a Writ for the Laurel given to THLady Alfrun ketta for her skill in fiber arts.
In addition, Maestro Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato gifted Their Majesties with a custom-made fire ring to be used in Æthelmearc Royal camp at Pennsic. Their Majesties thanks Master Giuseppe and requested that their new Pennsic Chamberlain, Master Janos, take the ring into his keeping until Pennsic.
On Sunday morning, the annual Pick-A-Prize raffle was held by the Tribe of Tuatha Firen. The Chieftain of the Tribe, Master Caleb Reynolds, announced that the raffle raised $1,120.09, to be split evenly between the Kingdom’s Pennsic expenses and Their Majesties’ travel expenses. He further announced that next year will be their 25th and last year running the raffle, but that the Tribe is hoping another group will step in to run a Kingdom Fundraiser at War Practice the following year. Over the last 24 year, Tribe of Tuatha Firen has raised over $10,000 for the Kingdom.
Brunch was served by members of the Shire of King’s Crossing on Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday morning, Their Majesties held Their first Curia, where topics including a restructuring of the Marshalate and possible changes to Youth policy were discussed.